GERMANY, Rheda-Wiedenbrück. Germany's largest slaughterhouse can once again accommodate as many pigs as before the corona-related shutdown in July. The ISN is relieved.
There is hope that the pig congestion in Germany will not increase any further in the coming weeks and possibly even be reduced. The reason is that Tönnies, Germany's largest pig slaughterer, can once again get more animals on the hooks. As the company announced, a completely rebuilt cutting line for hams conforming to corona standards was put into operation today at the Rheda-Wiedenbrück plant following official approval. With around 200 employees in this area, the slaughtering and cutting capacities could again be reached as before the shutdown of the plant in June and up to 40,000 additional pigs could be processed each week, the meat producer reported.
"We are glad that we can now finally start work in the converted ham cutting facility," explained Tönnies Managing Director Dr. André Vielstädte. In the short term, this could make a significant contribution to gradually reducing the dramatic pig congestion in Germany. For the first time since the resumption of operations after the corona stop, the Rheda-Wiedenbrück site could once again operate at full capacity. Vielstädte explained that this was made possible by the enormous effort that Tönnies had invested in the conversion of the cattle cutting facility, which had previously been relocated to Badbergen, within only about six weeks.
According to Tönnies, extensive measures have been implemented to meet the Corona requirement for the protection of employees. These include greater distances between the individual workplaces, spit protection and separations between employees, as well as the high-performance HEPA filters that continuously clean the air. "Up to now, our capacity utilization has been around 70%. Now, with the additional production area, we can take more pigs off the farmers' hands and relieve the burden on producers," emphasized Vielstädte.
The Interessengemeinschaft der Schweinehalter Deutschlands (ISN) (Interest Group of German Pig Farmers) was pleased about the emerging approval for ham cutting at Tönnies. "Naturally that tunes us positively, we did everything in the past weeks for it, so that finally movement comes into the thing , explained ISN managing director Dr. Torsten Staack. But even if a trend reversal is indicated, one is still not over the mountain by far. "The pig farmers remain in an extreme emergency situation", Staack stated. After all, the Christmas holidays are just around the corner with severely limited slaughtering capacity. Therefore one may not slacken now. It is not only necessary to slow down the growth of the piggery, it is also necessary to reduce it completely. Only then could the massive price problem be solved in addition to the sales problem.